Not absolutely sure about how many posts there will be here but have become more and more conscious lately of being pulled back towards God (Spirit, the I am that I am, the Source) and noticed my great reluctance to call Great Spirit ‘God’, probably because of the very negative connotations that that name had acquired for me over the years.
So I felt it a good idea to describe that journey from being a child that loved God to the much older woman that loves God again, with all the stages in between where God and I had a very difficult relationship. I will be the first to admit that it was me having problems with God and unlikely to have been God having problems with me.
As a young child growing up in Holland, the predominant religion in the part where we lived was Protestantism (both Lutheran and Calvinist) with a fair number of Roman Catholics as well. My immediate family (mother, father and siblings) had no particular religious affiliation, which means we were sort of Protestant, and indeed we attended a Lutheran protestant Play-school and primary school. I also attended Sunday school, not sure if that was for my benefit or the benefit of my parents to get a bit of peace on a Sunday afternoon.
I perceived God as a sort of Super-father, probably more interested in my well being than my real life father (who could be said to be of the absent type – he earned the money, we saw him for a few hours before it was bed-time and he was largely occupied with bringing home the bread and butter). Jesus was my friend. I really liked him, he went around healing people, he was nice to animals and children and I loved him. He was my imaginary friend that I used to chat with on and off all day and when I went to sleep at night.
Imagine my horror at the age of five, when we were told that we had in fact killed Jesus and that tomorrow he would be killed again, BECAUSE we had been naughty and he had to be murdered again and again until we stopped being naughty. I clearly remember coming home in tears on the Thursday before Easter, and my mother’s laughter when she heard why I was so upset. Despite assurances that it was all symbolic (which is not something I understood at that age) I remember going to bed that night being 1. very angry with God for allowing us to murder his Son and 2. asking if I could not be the one to be killed instead of Jesus since I had been much more naughty than Jesus could ever be and it seemed only fair. It made me question what this God, who was supposed to be ever-love, could have been thinking of, and I felt that if that was love, I did not really need it. I laid in bed that night with my arms stretched out as far as they would go and imagined being crucified (I think I was a morbid child looking back on it) and decided that any father who could voluntarily allow that to happen to his child, was worse than an absent father who earned the money to buy food for us.
I think that Easter was the first separation I ever felt from God and even from my friend Jesus, because apparently he was in agreement with what God had said had to happen, and so he agreed that I should have been responsible for his killing. I felt a guilt (though I did not really call it that at the time) and largely withdrew from God and Jesus and just started seeing religion as being largely like a history lesson with gruesome examples of cruelty against people and animals being encouraged. A couple of years later I stopped healing with my hands as well, because it seemed like a weird thing to do.